Jimmie Johnson Is On The Pole For Sunday’s New Hampshire 301by Hunter Thomas July 16, 2016 0 comments
LOUDON, N.H. – Jimmie Johnson won his 35th career Coors Light Pole Award on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after running a lap of 28.430 seconds at 133.971 mph.
The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet has won at the Magic Mile on three occasions, but Friday’s effort marks his first pole at the track. In Round 1, Johnson was only 16th fastest, and in Round 2, he improved to fifth. In the third and final round, Johnson topped Kyle Busch for the pole. The pole is also his first of the 2016 season.
“I knew the car was good,” Johnson said. “We had something really weird go on in our mock run in practice for qualifying. It had us kind of confused. We went back to kind of square one and where we unloaded. The car was fast in all the sessions, a little tight, but we kept progressing, we kept our lap count down which was really important and was able to advance to the next round on the first lap, so just really happy. It was a trying day for sure, but just so proud of this whole race team.”
Busch, a two-time winner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned his 13th top-10 start of the season after posting the second fastest lap in Round 3 of qualifying on Friday. He now has 14 career top-10 starts at the track.
“Overall, I messed up a couple times on that lap that we had and a little bit off of four and definitely checked up and had to get out of the gas just to save the car and come down and have a good lap,” Busch said. “Still surprising that we were second. The car wasn’t driving as well as I would have liked it to drive for qualifying there and stuck quite as good as I would have expected it to, but good speed and that’s what matters right now and being able to put up a good lap like that.”
Martin Truex Jr. will start third on Sunday in the New Hampshire 301. He’s still searching for his first win at the speedway, but he does have three top-five finishes at the track. On Friday, Truex Jr. posted his 12th top-10 start in the past 19 races. He now has 11 top-10 starts in New Hampshire.
“It’s been a hectic day,” Truex Jr. “It seems like we’ve been thrashing all day long. Everything is last minute, last second and just throwing stuff at it, but when it counts we keep hitting it. We were first in practice and third here. We barely made it through the second round and then went on to finish third. All in all, it was a good day. Just a lot of quick decisions by everyone.”
Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin will start fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top-10, is Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger.
The New Hampshire 301 will broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images